SWNZ Forums

Ideas, tutorials, questions relating to armour, costumes and replica props from the Star Wars universe
 #11788  by eagle1
 Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:37 am
Hi all, haven't been around these parts in heck, quite a while, but great to read some of the threads here again, great stuff & here in NZ too!.

As the title suggests, the big Falcon is what I am currently working on.
Some of you may remember I had a 1/12 X-Wing Fighter on the go, I did, but ahem, sold all my parts to a buyer in the States, to throw funds into the Falcon project.

It's been over 3 years now of steady research & collecting the many commercial model kits that are needed to complete a convincing replica. Many of these kits are deemed 'vintage', being from the late 50's, thru the 60's, & early 70's. It is a daunting challenge to aquire these kits, but over time I have at least 2 thirds of the known donor kits. Cost so far, just on kits, $14,000 NZD.
Parts that have been made so far, are the 6 engine vents, machined in abs plastic with 'vintage' Koolshade screen inserts, the cockpit cone & various other small assembled pieces.
I'm just about done now working out the various measures of this thing, so everything fits as it should.

The most challenging aspect on creating a replica such as the Falcon, is you have to have an accurate substructure for the kit parts to fit as they should, but you need all the kit parts to create an accurate substructure!.

I'm up to the stage now, where I need to build a special vac-former to form the Falcon's hull 'domes', or saucer shapes. I will form these in halves, no need to form complete domes. Even then these domes will be around 1100mm x 550mm in size. Formed in 3mm styrene.

To my knowledge, a finished 5' Falcon has never been completed, but I'm not alone & couldn't have gotten this far without the help of a few close friends worldwide that are also planning on building Falcon replica's.

I'll post pics soon,
Stu
 #11789  by MattG
 Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:48 am
eagle1 wrote:Hi all, haven't been around these parts in heck, quite a while, but great to read some of the threads here again, great stuff & here in NZ too!...
Nice to see you back. :)

What an mind-boggling undertaking! I have no doubt that it will be an impressive replica when finished.

I (and others, I'm sure) would love to see and hear your progress along the way.
 #11792  by eagle1
 Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:09 pm
Thanks Matt,

Yeah, she's a huge, but enjoyable project. She's also a major wallet sucker :lol:
I would love to post some pics, been trying just now, but no go!.
Just how does one post pics here Matt?. I thought just hit attachment, select your file/pics & upload. I get the uploading box, but then I get 'internal file server error' & the page disappears!. Whats up with that?.
Cheers,
Stu
 #11795  by MattG
 Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:37 pm
eagle1 wrote:...I thought just hit attachment, select your file/pics & upload. I get the uploading box, but then I get 'internal file server error' & the page disappears!...
There are upper limits on the file size and pixel dimensions of attachments that this server will host (it relates to the memory requirements for thumbnail creation from large image files), and exceeding them results in the internal file server error. You can either scale them down (eg, to < 1600px max per side) or, if you want to preserve large resolution, host externally (Flickr, Photobucket etc) and link here using [img] tags.
 #11806  by eagle1
 Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:33 pm
Thanks chaps!.

The Falcon, in terms of using kit donor parts for detailing is probably the most expensive, or a very close second to a Studio Scale Galactica miniature replica.
When you consider the Falcon uses around 12 kits that are $500.00 plus, right off the bat, well there's at least $6000 bucks!.
In a way the Falcon probably wins for having a number of the most expensive kits used on her. It's really annoying to us Falcon builders, that the ILM modelers, back in the mid 70's, somehow managed to use a lot of the kits that were commonplace back then, but are now deemed highly sought after & go for a bomb!.

Casting is a must for a project like this, as some parts require many duplicates, just not practical to aquire dozens of a same kit if a cast can be taken. Heck, even ILM cast a lot of parts, not practical for them either!. Funny thing, sections of the Falcon that were cobbled together from kit parts were cast & used on other Star Wars miniatures & also, these same cast sections can be found on the Galactica miniature as well. Some of the same modelers worked on both films.
ILM even bought an injection molding machine to make in-house custom parts for detailing the miniatures. The sandcrawler model features injection molded tracks.

Another frustrating aspect to re-creating an accurate ANH Falcon, is that she was modified for 'The Empire Strikes Back', upping the landing gear boxes from 3 to 5. Mine will have 3 & be faithful to the original model.
The Falcon miniature has been on tour many times around the world as part of the travelling Star Wars exhibitions & has over time, sustained a lot of damage, with parts being knocked off & worse, some parts that were not there originally, being glued in their place. Very few pics of her, in the original pristine condition exist, but over time I have acquired a good amount of very rare pics to do the job right. I owe so many people a debt of gratitude to get me this far, without their help I wouldn't have even considered starting this.

I must say, what I do, this Studio-Scale modelling lark is insane at times, but the most part that gets me down at times, well, not down, but I guess lonely would be the word, is that I have not come across anyone in NZ that does what I do. Be great to have a physical person to talk shop with if you guys know what I mean?. Yes, I do have many friends from all over the world & Skype a few regulary that are SS modelers, it's just not quite the same.
Still, this fact doesn't really deter me & I guess I'll get to meet a lot of you guys over time, I want to show off this Falcon when she's completed, so who knows, hey, a Falcon party, how does that sound?.

Cheers,
Stu
 #11807  by MattG
 Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:31 pm
I have a lot of respect for modelers who scratchbuild from styrene and kit-bashing!

Your pics so far are fantastic. The detail photos are quite beautiful, but this sort of one is also very cool, as it starts to show the scale you're talking about.

Image
DSCF1959 by falconbuilder, on Flickr
eagle1 wrote:...I want to show off this Falcon when she's completed, so who knows, hey, a Falcon party, how does that sound?...
Personally, I'd love to see this in person when you've got it finished. If you need help finding or organising a way to show it in public, do shout out!